It’s an annual “unofficial” celebration for pot enthusiasts – April 20 or 420, when people in San Francisco gather in Golden Gate Park at Hippie Hill, lighting up and chilling.

The problem this year – the group of almost 15,000 people left a pile of garbage that is still being cleaned up – two days after the festivities.

Officials with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department estimate the larger than normal crowds left behind 10,000 pounds of trash, meaning it will cost taxpayers more than $10,000 in clean up costs.

The event is an informal gathering with no official organization taking the lead, meaning the city does not provide extra trash cans or portable toilets. But because 420 fell on a Saturday with beautiful weather, more people packed Hippie Hill than is normally the case, leading to more trash being strewn all over the park.

There were extra police in the area, but authorities said there were no reports of any serious crimes at the celebration.

The effects of the celebration have led many to wonder if an organization needs to step up to set up cleaning fees and turn the event from unofficial to official in the future.



Photo Credit: San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department